Featured Finding Figure
The axon terminals of GABAergic chandelier cells form linear arrays, termed cartridges, that synapse on the axon initial segment of neocortical pyramidal cells. These cartridges are immunoreactive for the GABA membrane transporter-1 (GAT1), and the density of GAT1-immunoreactive (GAT1-IR) cartridges in the prefrontal cortex has been reported to be reduced in schizophrenia. The goal of this study was to determine if reductions in the density of GAT1-IR cartridges in schizophrenia are restricted to the prefrontal cortex. Relative GAT1-IR cartridge density was determined in auditory association area 42, a region previously implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, in 14 matched pairs of subjects with schizophrenia and normal comparison subjects. The results were compared with similar data from prefrontal area 46 in the same subjects. Mean GAT1-IR cartridge density in area 42 was decreased by 9.8% in layers II-IIIa, and by 11.9% in layer VI in subjects with schizophrenia (Figure), although these differences did not achieve statistical significance. However, the magnitude of the reductions in the density of GAT1-IR cartridges in area 42 of the subjects with schizophrenia was not significantly smaller than those in area 46. In subjects with schizophrenia, alterations in chandelier neuron axon cartridges appear to be more marked in the prefrontal cortex than in another cortical region implicated in the illness, although such changes might not be restricted to the prefrontal cortex.
Konopaske GT, Sweet RA, Wu Q, Sampson A, Lewis DA: Regional specificity of chandelier neuron axon terminal alterations in schizophrenia. Neuroscience 138: 189-196, 2006.

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David A. Lewis, M.D. | Department of Psychiatry | University of Pittsburgh
3811 O'Hara Street, Biomedical Science Tower W1654
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